Kevin Brockway, who coached the Santa Monica High baseball team into the CIF Division 4 championship game at Dodger Stadium this past season, has resigned to become an assistant coach at West Los Angeles College.
As West LA brings back baseball following a 21-year absence, Brockway applied for the head coaching job and became a finalist before losing out to Bob Grant. Two weeks later Brockway was asked if he’d consider becoming one Grant’s two assistants and accepted.
Brockway was out of town and unavailable for Monday’s press conference at West LA that formally brought back the sport. But Grant said Brockway will begin recruiting upon his return.
Actually, Brockway has already helped bring in a player. Samohi infielder Johnny Huerta was one of three players in a West LA uniform Monday.
Huerta played second base and shortstop at Samohi.
“I was considering Harbor College, but when West LA brought back baseball I was interested,” he said. “We live in Venice so this is close to my home. And it helps that Coach Brockway is going to be here.”
Samohi was 24-10 this past season, Brockway’s third as the Vikings’ head coach. He had been the baseball coach at Santa Monica College 13 years ago when the school dropped the sport and had an ambition to return to that level. Had SMC brought back baseball Brockway would have applied there.
A factor in his decision to make a move now comes in this story from Art Harris, a longtime Brockway mentor.
Harris won an LA City championship during his outstanding years at Venice High. When the UCLA head coaching position became available more than 30 years ago, Harris applied.
“The athletic director, J.D. Morgan, told me my credentials were superb and everything else checked out,” recalls Harris. “Then he told me that he would never hire a high school coach to be UCLA’s head coach.”
Harris became coach at West LA and has spent the last 20 years in the Dodgers’ scouting department. And he has shared his story with young high school coaches desiring to move up.
Brockway is credited with bringing order and success to the Samohi baseball program. But if he was going to leave this was a logical time since he had a senior-dominated team this past season. Much was expected and the Vikings won the Ocean League championship and defeated perennial power El Segundo High, among others, in the playoffs.
Next season’s Vikings will be talented but largely inexperienced. Brockway was intending to have junior Tyler Skaggs and senior Paul Salazar be the primary starting pitchers, but that will now be up to the new coach.
There was no immediate speculation about who that will be.